As our faithful readers no doubt know, the stationary 3,000 mile Race Across the Window begins Thursday at noon. Our team of eight riders will ride 24/7 until we've finished our virtual cross-country ride to raise funds for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. We're thankful for all the support we've gotten already. So far our sponsors include:
Congratulations to Sara Bibi on her 2nd place finish at the first event of PPTC's Al Goldstein Speed Series Wednesday night. Despite the 90 degree temperature, Sara ran 21:36.
to minimize domestic violence, but running on the track is comparable
to being in an abusive relationship. Thankfully I don't know first
hand, but I imagine there are some parallels. It beats you up, but you
keep going back just wanting to hear that you are good enough, that you
are worthy. And such is my relationship with the track at Riverbank. In
particular, lane one on the track. Each week, I am greeted with chicken
bones, kids on scooters, soccer balls flying at your head, old
Dominican women who are doing walking mile repeats (why else would they
choose lane 1?), and the white line. The white line that seems to move.
I think the white line is in cahoots with the green light (Gatsby).
doing a 4-hour bike ride on Sunday and having a long school day on
Monday, Jonathan assigned me a track workout yesterday. I was to do the
workout that I couldn't do the previous week as I had effed up the
recovery run on Monday. Fast doesn't come in a vacuum. Run fast on a
slow day and suffer on a fast day. I dreaded the thought of going to
the track, but I wasn't going to wuss out. I put on my salmon shorts
and headed to the track. I don't know why I feel as if I can run faster
when my bottom is hanging out of my shorts, but I do. Look the part, be
stepped on the track and my legs didn't feel tired. I knew I was going
to hit my splits. The run was an ascending ladder at 5k pace, peaking
at a mile, and then a descent to 2×400. Doable but still hard. "You go
upstairs. I beat you now." The first 100 I looked at the watch. I was
right on pace for an ambitious 5k. Was I just starting too fast, about
to die mid-run? Settle, settle. Second 400, same split. 800, looked at
the watch at the 400. Even splits. Mile. Looked at the watch at the 800
split. Negative split for the half mile. Next 800. We're over the
hump. But the next piece is going to test the heart. "Dinner is ready.
I hope it's cooked enough." Torso strong, knees high. Remember what
Alix Horowitz tells you. It's just as easy to run 6 minute pace if you
pick up your knees a little more.
Knees are up. I'm comfortably doing 90 seconds through the 400. Can I
hold it? It's easy through the next 400. That's a 3-minute 800. I'm
feeling good. "You do like the dinner? No, I didn't make dessert. Are
you mad? I'm waiting for the reaction. There's a twitch in his face.î
Next 400. Don't wait on the reaction. Don't look at the watch. Cook
whatever meal you like. Over-cook, under-cook. Doesn't matter. Order
in. Lift your knees. This feels easy. Your ass is dropping out your
shorts. No it's not. Your ass doesn't drop. So what's it hitting?
That's your heel hitting your butt. You're extending. You're picking up
your knees. The line's not moving. You're coming through strong. I
think I'm going to hit 90 seconds again. Riverbank is closing. I gotta
get the last lap in. Come through at 85 seconds. Really? How am I not
hurting? "you wanted dessert? Then go get dessert. I didn't make it and
I'm not making it. I'm going to bed.î Last 400. Just do it again. Do
First 100. I don't hear anything. I am not straining. Instead, I'm
thinking of how good I feel. Second 100. Am I really half way there? I
think I am going fast. 3rd
hundred. I'm giddy. My legs buckle. I am actually cardiovascularly
stronger than my legs are fast. Finish coming up. Heels kicking butt.
Running smooth. No breakdown in form. Tall. A blur. Easy breathing.
83-second quarter. "you do love me. But I loved me before I looked at
my watch to confirm and accept your love.
realize that these times are not anything to brag about. Heck, Kara
Goucher ran close to my half-marathon PR while training, and while 6
months pregnant. It's not a race against the clock even though it seems
like it is. It's a race against yourself. And once I stopped looking at
the watch every 100, I just ran on feel. From the great Sir Roger
Bannister, "We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but
because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves. The more restricted our
society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some
outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, "you must not run
faster than this, or jump higher than that. The human spirit is
At noon on Thursday, June 3, our team of eight riders will begin a simulated 3,000 miles ride on Computrainers in the store window of JackRabbit Sports‘ Union Square location. We’ll ride 24/7 for a week or so, until we complete the task.
This year there are a few changes. First and foremost, the event will benefit the Challenged Athletes Foundation. CAF does great work to help people with physical disabilities pursue an active lifestyle through physical fitness and competitive athletics.
Please donate if you can. The process is simple and secure.
Thanks to our sponsors – Nuun for portably electrolytehydration, WIN for sports detergent, Zensah for compression sleeves, Craft for clothing, Chomper Body for providing chamois cream and Kuota for supplying loaner bikes for guest riders.
Congratulations to Bobby Dweck on a PR at the Jersey Man Half Iron this weekend. Bobby's in training for Ironman Lake Placid, and his training is right on schedule for a strong IM debut. Keep up the good work Bobby.
I often hear people comment about how few minorities compete in triathlons. It’s especially striking here in New York. With the diversity that this city has, the homogeneity of race entrants really stands out. The common, knee-jerk explanation you hear is an economic one, but I think that’s a huge oversimplification. Sure, minorities on the whole have less disposable income, but if you wake up early enough to watch a bike race in Prospect or Central Park this summer, you’ll see a far greater Black and Latino population than at a tri. And those road bikes are no cheaper than tri bikes. Admittedly there are other costs associated with triathlon that you don’t encounter in cycling – pool access, wetsuits, higher race fees, etc. – but I still don’t think that economics alone account for the differences. Even the whole “Black people don’t like to swim” argument doesn’t hold water [get it?] because it’s not as if anyone’s going to mistake a duathlon for a Howard University reunion.
Thankfully, we’ve seen a couple of notable examples of diversity at races this season. At the Brooklyn Biathlon, there were two (presumably Orthodox Jewish) women racing while wearing traditionally modest clothing including skirts below their knees. Not only was it great to see them out there participating, but it was equally impressive to see the reception that they got from the spectators and other racers. Most were totally unfazed. Those who noticed, cheered for the ladies and encouraged them. Sure, they didn’t look quite like the rest of the racers, but no one cared. They were just two more athletes out there giving it their best and participating in a healthy hobby.
At the Lions Spring Sprint Tri in Marlborough MA we encountered a group from the Sudanese Education Fund. They grouped Sudanese refugees and staff from the SEF into relay teams for the race.
Plus there are lots of other groups – including Tri Masters, Tri Latino, Tri Unify – that are promoting minority participation. Triathlon is a great sport, and hopefully we’ll continue to see more and more diversity at the races.
I realize that I'm rapidly becoming the curmudgeonly old man who sits on his front stoop and screams at kids for walking on his lawn, but some things are getting out of control. When I'm King of the World, there will be a few changes, including (but not limited to) the following:
Reports from our athletes and friends are trickling in. I'll keep updating as they do.